n African Journal of Rhetoric - African Pyramids of Knowledge: Kemet, Afrocentricity and Africology, Molefi Kete Asante - reviews

Volume 10 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1998-2054


Let us understand. The cause is seen through the effect. Observation of a concrete symbol of a fact helps to evoke its abstraction.

-Molefi Kete Asante, African Pyramids of Knowledge, p. 125

For Molefi Kete Asante in African Pyramids of Knowledge, the study of Africology as a ‘commitment to a method’ (p. 200) brings more to the global rhetorical conversation than merely the reverse-corrective reading of ‘primitive’ cultures as ‘complex.’ In speaking for those traditions that modern analytics have failed (p. 197), Asante challenges the historian’s reliance on the ‘written transmission of knowledge’ even as he calls upon historians to ‘create new ways of seeing data’ (p. 199). Over four long chapters, Asante texturizes the linguistic and cultural origins of Kemet—ancient Egypt—so as to locate the study of Africology in four lines of inquiry: cosmological (concerned with the place of culture in ‘myths, legends, literature and oratures’); epistemological; axiological; and aesthetic (concerned with the seven senses that make art a ‘representational form of human behavior’) (pp. 12-14).

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